What struck me most during the presentation was the breathtaking detail produced by artists with oil. Whenever I look at a piece of art, the ones that impact me the most are those that are most realistic and detailed. I marvel at the quality of the work and skill of the artist. Even before delving into the emotions and deeper meanings associated with the work, you can appreciate the face value of a realistic painting by the way it tricks you. The canvas is flat, but the painting has depth and its contents are real.
As professor Plesch noted, the Renaissance contributed to many improvements in depth and perspective, especially with the use of a vanishing point. Viewing nature, or anything in our world really, is a three dimensional experience, and as humans who like to see patterns, we can quickly tell if something is “off,” or not in perspective. On the flip side, if done right, then it becomes hard to tell or remember that you are just looking at oil carefully placed by a painter.
In this pursuit of representing nature, and considering the examples that professor Plesch shared with us, I myself am surprised and wowed whenever someone is able to replicate, or rather imitate, the intricacies of nature. The artist doesn’t just generate a painting, but an experience for the viewer, just like nature.